Comparing The Best Horseback Riding Shoes

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Riding a horse is one of the most exhilarating feelings. It is a thrill like nothing else in the world. However, before you ride you need to figure out what horseback riding shoes to wear.

Just like any sport, you want to make sure you have the right equipment. Having the right pair of shoes for horseback riding will not only provide comfort and performance, but they will also provide safety for your feet. Since a horse stepping on your foot could cause serious injuries, it is important to have the proper footwear while riding.

Horseback Riding Shoes: Choosing the Best Shoes

Whether you are wanting to go trail riding as a new activity or are just starting up horseback riding lessons, you will want to make sure you have appropriate shoes. You want to ensure the shoes you wear are functional, comfortable and safe.

Though there are a few different types of shoes you can wear horseback riding, you want to make sure you are wearing closed-toe shoes. This will protect your feet from any serious damage if you get stepped on.

The best shoes to wear while riding are English or Western riding boots. Buying riding boots will give you the most functionality, comfort, and protection.

However, if you are not planning on doing lots of riding or are unsure you are going to stick with it, there are other types of shoes you can wear. Since riding boots can be expensive, you can wear other shoes before deciding to make the investment buying them.

You preferably want to wear boots that have a heel. Muck boots, hiking boots, and rain boots make good alternatives to riding boots. You may also wear sneakers for riding; however, they are not as ideal.

Horseback Riding Shoes: English Riding Boots

Paddock Boots

Paddock Boots are the most popular type of English riding boots. They are short boots that go up a few inches past your ankle. They are a great option for the first pair of riding boots.

They generally have zippers or laces, making them easy to get on. Some paddock boots are slip on and are referred to as jodhpur boots. Jodhpur boots are used as show boots in saddle seat classes.

Horseback Riding Shoes: Choosing the Best Shoes

Paddock boots make great everyday riding boots. They may easily be worn with half chaps if desired. Paddock boots are durable and comfortable, making them a great riding boot.

Horseback Riding Shoes: Tall Boots

Tall boots are worn by hunters, jumpers and dressage riders. There are three different tall boots: field, dress, and dressage.

Field boots have laces in the front and are traditional worn in hunter, jumper and flat classes. Dress boots are made with soft, supple leather and do not have laces, they are commonly used by jumpers and dressage riders. Dressage boots are made with stiff leather and are used in all levels of dressage.

Horseback Riding Shoes: Tall Boots

Most people don’t wear tall boots on a daily basis. Tall boots can be hard to get on, so many people opt to wear paddock boots with half chaps. However, some people do prefer the performance of tall boots better, so they wear them on a regular basis.

Western Riding Boots

Cowboy boots are a popular choice of riding boots for those who ride western or love the classic look of a cowboy boot. Cowboy boots are designed to be easy to put on and keep you comfortable on your feet all day long.

Western riding boots come in various styles and are often known for their flashy designs. They provide comfort, protection, functionality, and durability. Many people love cowboy boots because of their versatility and fashion.

Terrain and Hiking Boots

If you are looking for a versatile boot that can be used for more than just horseback riding, terrain and hiking boots are great options. Most terrain and hiking boots are made from durable materials, are designed to be functional and comfortable, have a heel, go above your ankle and have laces or zippers.

Hiking and terrain boots are designed to be walked in for hours, so they are built to be comfy. They make a great riding boot because they often come with a heel. They are also designed to hold up in tough conditions and have good traction.

Terrain and Hiking Boots

Many brands of equestrian boots make terrain boots that double as riding boots. Not only do they work great as riding boots, but they can also be used for chores and outdoor activities. Some terrain boots are designed for endurance riding.

Horseback Riding Shoes: Non-Equestrian Boots

Muck and Rain Boots

Muck boots and rain boots can double as riding boots if you don’t have other options available. Muck boots tend to be sturdier than rain boots, so they are the better option of the two. Both types of boots provide a heel and come in short and tall lengths.

Though some muck boots are designed to double as riding boots, some are too clunky to fit comfortably in a stirrup. If you decide to ride in muck boots or rain boots, you want to ride in boots that have a heel.

Tennis Shoes

Though not ideal, tennis shoes can be used for horseback riding. However, if you have a boot you can wear instead, go with that. If you do wear a tennis shoe horseback riding, make sure that it has good traction and if possible, a small heel.

Horseback Riding Shoes: Non-Equestrian Boots

Some places may not allow you to wear tennis shoes for riding, so make sure you check before you go. Tennis shoes will not provide good protection if you get stepped on by a horse.

Proper Riding Shoes

Whether you are going on your first trail ride or are an avid rider, you want to make sure you have proper footwear on while horseback riding. The best option for everyday riding boots are paddock boots, cowboy boots or terrain boots. However, any boot with a heel, traction and hard toe will work for horseback riding.

If you do not have any of those available, a muck style boot or tennis shoe can be used, though tennis shoes are not an ideal choice. It is important to make sure the shoe you are riding in has a heel, provides traction, is functional and provides protection.  

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